Friday, December 14, 2012

Croup

Poor Kolby.  He suffers from allergies and eczema and asthma.  He takes daily medications to control these things.  Most importantly, he has two inhalers. One is a preventative, which he is supposed to take everyday, and the other is reserved for the possible flare-up that may happen if he has an asthma attack.

One night, back in October, after Kolby had already been sent to bed hours previously, we found him at the bottom of the stairs, struggling to get upstairs to us.  He was awoken from sleep and was in the middle of an asthma attack. I have no idea how it happened, but perhaps it was triggered by a slight cold that he had at the time.

We had just a small amount of his "attack" medicine to give him, but he took a few puffs.  It didn't really help.  We did the best we could, with keeping him calm and helping him take deep breaths.  After a while, he went back to sleep (on the ground, next to our bed) and we kept an eye on him all night.

We kept him home from school the next day, thinking that we might need to take him in to the doctor. He was still struggling for breath most of the day, even though he was just sitting around.  About lunch time, I took him to a friend's house to get a steroid nebulizer treatment.  It took about an hour, but he was breathing better.

However, a short time later, he was still seemingly in the middle of an asthma attack.  It never really went away, even with all the steroid treatments he had just had.  Sharon helped him get control of his breathing by teaching him better ways to calm down (as a child, she also suffered from asthma).  We were still wondering if we should take him into the doctor.  We watched him closely, and by 4pm, we called our pediatrician.

They weren't taking anymore patients at that time, and said to call the after-hours clinic at 4:30.  So we did.  We explained that Kolby had had his inhalers and nebulizer treatment and he still wasn't able to catch his breath.  The nurse suggested that there wasn't much more that she could do for him, than what we had already done, so she said to go to the Emergency Room.  With Kolby getting more and more scared, and his breathing not improving, off we went.

Because Kolby was having a hard time breathing, we were seen within minutes, despite the long line of people waiting.  He was immediately put on a breathing treatment, but it was not a steroid treatment, since it was discussed that he already had enough steroids in his system from the day.  After more than an hour, Kolby started feeling better.



When the doctor came in to evaluate Kolby, he agreed with my assessment that it was croup.  Kolby had croup when he was 3 months old, and had a 3 day hospital stay (with me by his side) to recover from it.  I remember his doctor saying, at that point, that Kolby would probably always suffer from breathing issues after that.  So with his asthma and allergies, I'd say that statement was prophetic.

After treatment, Kolby went for a lung X-ray, to make sure it wasn't pneumonia, and then it was back to our room to wait for the results.  Kolby was given popsicles to eat, juice to drink, and he was given crayons and a coloring book to occupy himself with.  By this point, Kolby was feeling much better.



We were discharged after 4 hours of being there. Kolby was breathing better.  We were given a prescription in case he had another attack, but were cautioned to make sure we gave him his preventative inhaler every day (something we had slacked on) and to make sure we had his attack inhaler at the ready.

Kolby stayed home from school another two days.  By the third day off, he asked "mom, can I go back to school in the morning?  I miss it!"  Wow. Words I could have sworn I'd never hear!  Guess I made homelife boring enough for him that he actually wanted to return to school.  Who knew?

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